Curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of your marketing and the first way to make a house more saleable. If the house or yard looks poorly maintained from the street, it is doubtful that many people will even desire further viewing. It is critical to have the yard in the best possible shape; lawn mowed and trimmed, leaves picked up, windows and screens washed, any sidewalks swept clean and a paint-job that looks fresh. A few seasonal decorations help, as well. If the sale is during the summer months, a pot or two of flowers by the front door will add a nice touch.
A furnished house shows better than a vacant house, but be sure to remove excessive clutter or furniture. People usually buy a house because they need more space and uncluttered rooms exaggerate the space. In addition, clean out closets. You can leave a few items in them, but the more space, the better. Similarly, try to have any built in shelves sparsely decorated, emphasizing the space available.
Hopefully, the potential buyers have decided to tour the home. What next? Begin by putting yourself in the buyers’ shoes. As you enter the house, look and listen for repairable flaws. Does the front door squeak? Do the windows have screens? Be overly critical, as you know any potential buyers will be also. It has been stated that most potential homebuyers come to a decision within the first few seconds of walking in the front door. To that end, it is important to make sure that the entryway and front room are clean (this includes clean smelling, too!), well lit and, overall, establish a welcoming atmosphere to your home.
Just as important as the overall atmosphere is the condition of smaller, hidden areas. Specifically, examine faucets for drips and under sinks for leaks. Fix any leaks and repaint/replace the liner if necessary. Make sure the oven is clean and the light works. Check doors and windows for binding and ensure good lighting throughout. One of the best expenses is often a simple paint job. Avoid bright colors and stick with an off white. The fresh paint will not only cover any small cracks, but also help freshen the air.
Money spent to pep up a house prior to sale will almost inevitably be recouped by the sale price. Fresh paint, a clean carpet, new screens and a few other expenses will benefit the seller greatly by giving a pick-me-up to the appearance of the home, thereby making the house more saleable.